This post was originally published on August 14, 2015.
Can conditioner cause hair loss? You’ve probably noticed a certain amount of hair in the shower drain whenever you wash your hair. But is it your shampoo and conditioner that is making your hair fall out, or is there another factor at play? If you’ve been wondering whether conditioner can cause hair loss, keep reading.
How Conditioner Works
Before we can get into whether or not conditioner causes hair loss, we need to address how conditioner works.
Each hair strand is covered in overlapping keratin scales. Together, these scales are called the hair cuticle. When the cuticle lies flat, hair feels soft and silky and has a healthy sheen. When the scales are raised, hair looks dull and is more prone to tangling. Imagine a frayed rope. Styling, environmental factors, and even shampooing can raise the scales of the cuticle. Conditioners are formulated to coat and smooth the cuticle, leaving hair shiny and manageable. That’s why most hair experts recommend using a conditioner after shampooing!
Conditioners may also include other ingredients that convey additional benefits to the hair. For example, Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner is formulated with Ana:TelTM complex plus the key nutrients biotin, keratin, and zinc to leave hair looking naturally thicker and fuller.
Why It Seems Like Conditioner Makes Hair Fall Out
Using a conditioner can improve the appearance of your hair. Unfortunately, some hair myths perpetuate the idea that conditioner causes hair fall. We’ve heard claims that conditioners clog hair follicles, leading to hair loss. We’ve also heard a rumor that the emollient ingredients in conditioners can soften the hair follicles to the point where they release the hair shaft, resulting in hair thinning. However, no research suggests using conditioner causes hair loss.
It’s likely that the rumor that conditioner causes hair loss is linked to normal hair shedding, which is more apparent after a hair wash. But hair shedding is actually a normal part of the hair growth cycle. All human hair grows in a cycle with four phases: the anagen (growth) phase, the catagen (transition) phase, the telogen (resting) phase, and the exogen (shedding) phase. Thus, it’s normal to shed somewhere between 50 and 100 strands of hair each day.
While those hairs can fall out at any point during the day, we usually notice them in the shower drain after washing our hair. That’s because washing your hair rinses away any detached hair strands. So, while it makes sense that one may assume that conditioner causes hair fall when you see hair falling out in the shower, the conditioner itself is not the actual cause of the hair shedding.
However, if you notice more hair than usual on your pillow, in your brush, or the shower drain, you may be experiencing hair loss for another reason. In that case, talk to your doctor.
Can Conditioners Have Negative Effects On Your Hair?
In some cases, conditioner can have a negative effect on your hair or skin:
Contact Dermatitis – If you’re sensitive to an ingredient in your conditioner, you may experience this allergic reaction. Contact dermatitis is rare, but if you suspect you have it, talk to your doctor.
Acne Breakouts – If you don’t rinse out your conditioner thoroughly, it could lead to breakouts for those with acne-prone skin. Make sure to rinse all the conditioner out of your hair and wash your body with soap after rinsing to avoid acne breakouts.
Limp Hair – Certain conditioner formulations can leave your hair looking lank and stringy, especially if you have fine or thinning hair. Instead, opt for a lightweight conditioner like Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner. Viviscal Conditioner moisturizes and smooths hair without weighing it down.
Overall, however, the pros of conditioner outweigh the cons. To reiterate, there is no scientific evidence that hair conditioner causes hair loss. Hair conditioner smooths the cuticle of the hair, leaving it shiny, smooth, and manageable. That’s why it’s an important part of a healthy hair routine!